Following Bloomberg's failed ban on big sodas, will a host of initiatives popping up in other cities pass muster?

By  
@katysteinmetz
Published in TIME, Feb. 20, 2014
 

Unless something very unexpected happens, voters in San Francisco can expect to be answering a question like this come Election Day in November: Would you support a tax on sugar sweetened beverages, with the funds dedicated to health, nutrition, and physical activity programs? They can also expect to find themselves amid a whirlwind of arguments and ads from health organizations supporting the measure and from the powerful beverage industry opposing it.

Soda and other sugary drinks are popping up on city and state dockets across the nation, as lawmakers attempt to curb America’s consumption of certain beverages. Like San Francisco, Berkeley, Calif., and Illinois are considering taxes on sugary beverages, while lawmakers in Maryland and Los Angeles may impose age restrictions for purchasing energy drinks like Red Bull. These follow a steady line of potable proposals in recent years that never made it onto the books, including former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s famous, failed attempt to limit the size of sodas available consumers in his city.

A big question is whether proposals like San Francisco’s, which would levy a two-cent-per-ounce tax on distributors, will succeed and become an example for other cities to follow or whether—as the beverage industry claims—that proposal is part of a dying breed. “There’s been a sharp decrease in the number being introduced,” says Chris Gindlesperger, spokesperson for the American Beverage Association. “It’s time for serious health professionals and lawmakers who want to be engaged in a comprehensive solution to obesity to move on from soda taxes and bans.”


Read more: Soda Taxes: A War Bubbling in San Francisco May Prove Litmus Test | TIME.com http://healthland.time.com/2014/02/20/soda-wars-bubble-up-across-the-country/#ixzz2tyCzQ27g

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